Pioneer Public: Jeremy Northup


Photo by Lauren Clouser

Jeremy Northup

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

Part time psychology professor Jeremy Northup is passionate about teaching, enjoys reading philosophy and poetry books and likes birdwatching in his spare time.

Northup, a doctoral student at Point Park studying psychology, currently teaches Psychology of Consciousness. Northup has taught for three semesters at Point Park and has also taught University 101 and Introduction to Psychology, in addition to classes at the Community College of Allegheny County.

“I’ve always wanted to teach,” Northup said. “I went back to school to teach so it sounds almost silly, but I find myself thanking the students in my classroom for giving me the opportunity to do this thing that I’ve always wanted to do.” 

Northup, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Point Park, said professor Robert McInerney inspired him to teach.

“He’s been so influential to so many people in the school and in this program, it’d be hard for me to find many ideas that don’t have some link to him that I find alive,” Northup said. 

Northup worked with McInerney on research for his master’s degree.

“We did what’s called advocate ethnography, it’s like a collaboration between Point Park and Operation Safety Net,” Northup said. “There’s all sorts of really great things going on still. And that started probably three or four years ago and is probably still ongoing.”

Although Northup said he doesn’t pick favorites, he said he particularly enjoys teaching Psychology of Consciousness, a class that McInerny influenced.

“I felt grateful that I’ve been given such an opportunity to teach such a great class,” Northup said. “A class that Bob kind of dreamed up…He allowed me to teach that class, and it’s a higher level class offered for psych majors, and he essentially said ‘Do what you want with it.’”

About six years ago, Northup founded the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Reading Group, an organization that meets weekly to read continental philosophy.

“One day I was reading philosophy by myself, alone reading Nietzsche, as one does, and I was like ‘I could read this with other people,’” Northup said. “Then I made a meetup group and like 30 people came.”

Since then, Northup said the group still meets weekly, and runs a calendar on upcoming philosophy events in Pittsburgh.

In addition to philosophical readings, Northup enjoys reading poetry, citing Mary Oliver, Robert Haas and Frank O’Hara as some of his favorite poets.

“I really like nature poets,” Northup said.

When he’s not teaching or reading, Northup said he enjoys birdwatching.

“If I have time I find myself in the woods walking through Schenley Park or something like that,” Northup said. “I don’t have a ton of opportunities because I’m so busy here but if I got some time I got my binoculars and I’m in the woods looking for some birds.”

Northup mainly spots birds like peregrine falcons and sparrows, but doesn’t record what he sees because he enjoys the fleeting nature of the activity. 

“I’m trying to have new experiences and like to look at the singular beautiful red bird that goes to South America and is just stopping in Pittsburgh for a few days,” Northup said.